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November 20, 2007

one event may hide another

by gl. at 11:59 pm

on saturday i took a "found poetry" class at the 100th monkey, the title of which is based on the beautiful poem "one train may hide another", inspired by a sign the author saw in kenya.

our first exercise was in the format of a "lost" ad:

lost: free time. last seen summer of 2004. may be in the company of homemade meals and long walks on the springwater corridor trail. if found, please contact gretchin@scarletstarstudios... and i will try to arrange a pickup time in the next few weeks.

afterwards, i thought i might write a companion piece called "free to good home: to-do list." :)

the next exercise was finding a sign at the studio to write about: i'm always intrigued by the "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" signs, but we didn't really write a poem based on it.

then we did an exercise where the facilitator asked us to listen and write down what we heard as he slowly moved his way up the AM dial: we could use those words, and those words only, for the next poem we wrote:

an open field
how long ago was that?
no return
solid state now
we were told
we could only go

he also briefly covered a technique called "widows & orphans," which is similar to the above technique. widows and orphans are typesetting terms for the dangling words left morosely at the bottom and top of book pages: you gather a bunch of those and use only those words to make a poem (but again, we didn't write anything based on that technique).

finally we created "blackout poems" like those found on humument. this could have been a workshop all to itself! we found a page in a book or a magazine, highlighted words that together suggested a poem, blacked out everything else with a marker or sharpie, then created art atop it. i copied a page from a book about constellations and found this poem in it:

the goddess screamed.
vengeance gives names
to dark shapes.
but abandon pain
believe in lilies:
gifts of immortality,
the pathway of souls.

amusingly, one of the women i met at this workshop i saw later that night at the iprc text ball, a story about an event that has yet to be told.

posted by gl. | November 20, 2007 11:59 PM | categories: classes & workshops, writing